Tributes paid to former Micklehurst and Stayley cricketer Ronnie Franklin

APART from being a fiercely competitive cricketer, Ronnie Franklin, who has died at the age of 74, was described as somebody who always played the game with a smile on his face.

The West Indian all-rounder, who lived in Moss Side, was well known locally being professional at Saddleworth & District League clubs Friarmere, Uppermill, Micklehurst, Stayley and Moorside.

Ronnie, who originated from Barbados, also starred for East Levenshulme and East Lancashire Paper Mill.

And after his playing days ended, he remained heavily involved in local cricket as an umpire and coaching the juniors at Swinton Moorside.

Trevor Harrison, a former Saddleworth League secretary, was an amateur player at Micklehurst when Ronnie was professional.

He said: “What I remember about Ronnie was that he was always a great competitor, whether you played with or against him.

“He always gave 100 per cent but there was never any nastiness. He was always laughing and smiling and was the heart and soul of the club.

“I can never remember him losing his temper and he never queried an umpire’s decision or abused them. He was a thoroughly nice guy and I was sad to hear about his death.”

Close friend Ronnie Cameron, who was a team-mate at East Levenshulme and Stayley, said: “I knew Ronnie for more than 30 years playing with and against him. He was one of our leaders.

“We kept in regular contact and we spoke three or four days before he died.”

Stayley club official Billy Bird also paid tribute to Ronnie who died in a Manchester hospital on Friday (April 10).  He had been in poor health.

He said: “Ronnie was very witty and had a dry sense of humour.

“He was a good all-rounder and you could guarantee he would do something in matches, either with ball or bat.”

Stayley club president Steven Bird, who was an Under-16s player coached by Ronnie, described him as “a genuinely, nice guy who was sound as a pound”.

Julie Kippax, Micklehurst secretary, said: “Ronnie was our pro in 1986 and we kept in contact. He was a great ambassador for cricket and a great guy.

“He organised charity matches each year in which he assembled a West Indies X1.

“And when my dad (Philip Kippax) died, Ronnie was part of the guard of honour at his funeral.”

Julie had fond memories of West Indian curry night Ronnie organised and an amusing story from when Micklehurst played at Friarmere where ground improvements were taking place.

One of the players hid a breeze block in Ronnie’s kit bag as a joke. He thought the bag was unusually heavy and when he arrived home put it on a glass coffee table which promptly shattered because of the weight.

24 Replies to “Tributes paid to former Micklehurst and Stayley cricketer Ronnie Franklin”

  1. Great player to umpire always a pleasure on and off the field and thoroughly nice guy.Also a friend as an umpire.Cricket has lost a gentleman of the game and society will be poorer for his loss

  2. We have lost a GEM in Ronnie Franklin on and off the field . On the field he was a fierce competitor with a smile on his face and after the game he would give you a tip or two about how you can improve your game . Off the field he opened his house to all of us cricketers weather it was providing accommodation, bring us food and drinks or looking out for our wellbeing as overseas cricketer . Thankyou Ronnie

  3. I’m proud to call Ronnie a friend. A legend gone too soon. A true gentleman on and off the pitch., an inspiration to lots of young cricketers throughout the years. Lots of wonderful and funny memories to treasure forever that cannot be taken away 💖. RIP Frankie 🏏💙 xxx

    1. Fond memories of this great man…I’ve known Ronnie since a little lad at East Lancs paper mill cc…Fantastic cricketer and superb man..I’m so grateful after watching him as a child I got to play in the same team…My Dad was chairman and always said Ronnie was the best pro he signed..As he would give 110% every single game…

      I’ll miss our chats Ronnie..Look after my dad now x

      RIP my friend

  4. Not only will Ronnie be remembered by all his friends at Micklehurst as a fine cricketer but as a true gentleman both on and off the field. He never had a bad word for anyone and was always there for help and advice especially the young players. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

  5. Ronnie you will be sadly missed by the cricketing family and the West Indian Community, both in Oldham and Moss-side.
    A true competitor and a gentleman R.I.P Ronnie

    Leroy Cameron.
    My sincere condolences to the family.

  6. Ronnie was a true professional and always had a smile on his face, lots of fond memories playing with and against him, he also coached my youngest Son.
    My deepest condolences to his family.

    RIP my friend!

  7. As all the above comments say Ronnie was a genuine guy, that goes for on and off the field, I first met Ronnie in late eighties and it has been a pleasure to have had him as a friend ever since.

  8. Ronnie a great cricketer but most of all a fantastic person. Gone but not forgotten your memories lives on

  9. My deepest condolences to the Franklin family. As youngsters grew up in Oldham
    Shared many wonderful memories socialising and playing cricket you will be sadly missed my friend R I P .

  10. On behalf of the irie radio team .condolences to u Sonia and the family at this sad time.
    We will all miss his smile and his great personality.
    May he rest I perfect peace.
    Sweet t xx

  11. Our club Heaton mersey village cc in the Cheshire cricket league are looking to recruit some younger players to join us most of the work are being done by the senior players because of our club finance and with covid19 it get even more difficult .

  12. I play cricket with Ronnie brother Neal in Nottingham and he told me how good his brother is then I met Ronnie in 1990 and he was still a very good player but most important is how warm he was to others. Every time I visit Manchester to play he always look out for me . May his soul rest in peace . Fr Ernie ramsay Birmingham cavaliers and Handsworth cc

  13. Ronnie was my first cricketing hero. He would pick me and my brother up in Springhead and give us a lift to Uppermill for practice in around 1973/74. I was in awe of him all the time after that and mainly playing against him, but such a wonderful man.

  14. Fond memories of this great man…I’ve known Ronnie since a little lad at East Lancs paper mill cc…Fantastic cricketer and superb man..I’m so grateful after watching him as a child I got to play in the same team…My Dad was chairman and always said Ronnie was the best pro he signed..As he would give 110% every single game…

    I’ll miss our chats Ronnie..Look after my dad now x

    RIP my friend

  15. Ronnie was a pleasant man had all the attributes of a good person. It was over ten years ago when Ronnie and I arranged our first friendly match between Coventry and Manchester. During our conversation over the telephone it sound as if we had known each other for many years although it was our first meeting. That was Ronnie’s strength to be accommodating he was a great captain and during his reign we have never beaten Manchester last year Ronnie was absent and we gave Manchester a beating they will never forget. Ronnie I personally will miss you and you was also a family friend. God be with you and you loving family
    Carl.

  16. DL Simms
    A wonderful person,good cricketer and true gentleman. Miss you RONNIE R.I.P
    My deepest condolences to the family

  17. Ronnie was a well loved and respected within the community, a fantastic cricketer:who gave back as he as much that he could to sport i.e umpiring and the coaching of youngsters. not to mention the efforts with West Indian centre in Oldham. I was saddened to hear of Frankies passing however his memory will live on for a long time

  18. I remember playing at Stayley CC, (Last man)
    Ronnie was at the other end. He reassured me and said try the best you can.
    We played a couple of overs. (Won’t tell you who the red inker red was.)
    That night, there was a West Indian Steel drum Band playing at the Club. A great Stayley night, the place was bouncing. Found memories of the Franklin Family. RIP Ronnie. Praying for Ronnie and family at this sad time.

  19. Please convey our sympathy to the relatives of Franky Franklin. We lived on the same street where he lived . Always had a smile when he was angry. From Mike Best . ex BBC Manchester. Voice Newspaper London. Best.Boucher. Walcott and Akele families. May he rest in peace. Mike Best. Barbados.

  20. Went to say our last good by to ronnie Franklin today it was a lovely turn out can’t imagine what it would have been like if there wasn’t the lockdown because of the coronavirus rest in eternal peace our friend 🙏🙏🙏🏏🏏

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